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Discussion in 'US - Northeast' started by celfan, Aug 24, 2012.
Or are they contracting out?
The cans and some of their draught (in particular, any draught brand that is also canned) are brewed at The Lion in Wilkes-Barre, PA under an alternating proprietorship agreement. The folks at Sixpoint will insist that's not "contract brewing" but most people in the industry would include that sort of arrangement under the terminology.
They are allowed to not print the cans with that information by taking advantage of a TTB labeling regulation loophole:
§ 7.25 Name and address.
(a) Domestic malt beverages. (1) On labels of containers of domestic malt beverages there shall be stated the name of the bottler or packer and the place where bottled or packed. The bottler's or packer's principal place of business may be shown in lieu of the actual place where bottled or packed if the address shown is a location where bottling or packing operation takes place. The appropriate TTB officer may disapprove the listing of a principal place of business if its use would create a false or misleading impression as to the geographic origin of the beer.
...even thought it seems (given the number of threads on the topic) that it does "create a false or misleading impression as to the geographic origin of the beer".
I came to respond, but once I saw jesskidden was the last poster, I knew my info would not be needed
sneaky - i knew this stuff was too widely distributed to come out of a brooklyn brewery
i won't support them
Not trying to change your mind, but I am curious. What part of the arrangement will make you avoid them? I ask because there are and have been quite a few arrangements where beers are not brewed where the brewery calls home.
the fact that they purposely hide the information is enough
In my humble opinion....This is SO common in the industry that I would have a hard time saying that they "purposely hide the information".... Goose Island, Bass, boy you name it,... Alot more than I know or can list do the same thing...
Considering the bulls eye response Jesskidden had, he probably can answer better than I....
The new AB-brewed Bass Ale label says pretty prominently "Product of the USA" and "Baldwinsville, NY" on the label and the Goose Island beers brewed by AB or CBA also state the city (Baldwinsville, Portsmouth, etc). I can think of NO other craft brewers who ever took advantage of that TTB loophole - which is used by the multiplant brewers like AB and MC, Pabst [for M-C's facilities] and Yuengling (there are supposedly no Yuengling labels that state "Tampa, FL" even tho' that brewery is much larger than their PA home).
Boston Beer Co. long listed actual brewing cities of their contractors -from Pittsburgh in the beginning through to Eden, NC and Rochester, NY at the end, even tho' they had a brewery at the Boston corporate headquarters by the late '80's. Ditto for Brooklyn listing "Utica, NY" and many other craft contracts.
Sixpoint seems to be unique in not only using the loophole but insisting (in Twitter conversations once linked in the old forums) that they don't "contract brew" (using the "AP is not contract brewing" technicality that ignores common industry usage) and calling The Lion not by name but using expressions like "our facility in PA", etc. Their website says "Brooklyn" multiple times, last I looked no mention of "Wilkes-Barre". Apparently Sixpoint was once very critical of the Brooklyn Brewery for depending on Matt for a large percentage of their production, so the criticism is all the more just.
I've got no problem with contract brewing or even using dba names, but trying to deceive the consumer to maintain an image rubs me the wrong way.
LOL... I see that I certainly said the right thing by mentioning your post ... It appears I also stand somewhat corrected!!!
I honestly avoid their canned offerings just because I feel like the quality isn't what it used to be when I had them in Brooklyn. Not sure if anyone else agrees with that.
"The new AB-brewed Bass Ale label says pretty prominently "Product of the USA"...
Although it's been years since I've last had it, I believe Beck's is now made in the U.S. as well (St. Louis I think).
had no idea about Florida. do they have their own brewery or are the contracting out?
Yuengling bought a brewery in Tampa that Schlitz built in the 1950's (with a capacity of 1.5m bbl/yr at one point) when Stroh was going out of business in the late 1990's.
It had also been a Pabst facility for a few years in the 1980's, when Pabst and Stroh "traded" breweries - St. Paul (ex-Hamm's) for Tampa - to settle some anti-trust concerns. Stroh later bought it back as Pabst continued to shrink and slowly converted to a "virtual" brewer. (Of course, Stroh later leapfrogged Pabst into oblivion).
As for Yuengling, they also built another brewery outside of town which they've constantly been expanding. The original brewery in Pottsville is "landlocked" and can't really be enlarged.
I guess that's been my concern/question. While Six Point may be unique in taking advantage of a labeling "loophole" to project an image, there are others also marketing an image. Again, not defending Six Point, but it may be unfair to single them out if that is your problem with them.
While they now own their own breweries, how much Boston Lager from the Boston Beer Co. was/is brewed anywhere near Boston? Sure, it mentions OH & PA on the labels, but after Boston. I would think the majority of consumers would think the beer is brewed in MA, and BBC is more than OK with that image.
I can understand the problem with Six Point, but I think the line can get a bit fuzzy. IOW, there may be others to consider for your list.
Ill back that 100%. The Sixpoint stuff I used to get on tap at local bars and bottle shops 4-5 yrs ago when I was still living in BK seems to blow away what I am tasting in their cans now. I guess that could be a product of me trying more and more different brews that are just better, but my recollection of beers like Brownstone, Sweet Action and Grandpas Nerve Tonic (not brewed anymore I dont think) is overwhelmingly positive. My feelings on most of their beer now is 'meh'
Sixpoint haha, it's like someone saying "sure it waddles, has webbed feet, quacks, and has a duckbill, but it is not a duck."
But the fact that Boston has ALWAYS listed their other breweries' cities, whether owned or contracted IS the difference between them and what Sixpoint does. Yes, many craft brewers contract/use the alternating proprietorship model, but it's almost universally noted on the labels.
And, yeah, the Boston facility was never meant to be a production brewery (it was often described as a "pilot plant" or "research facility", etc) and is probably now bigger than Koch every expected what with the small batch/specialty beers coming out of there but it still probably only accounts for a low single digit percentage of BBC's total barrelage. And Koch did attempt to built a new brewery in MA until Diageo made available a deal too good to pass up. But brewers are always going to list their headquarter city first on a label - St. Louis doesn't brew the majority of AB beers, nor Milwaukee most of Miller's. etc.
Sure, all breweries have an image they try to project but a curious consumer could always look at the label of SABL and see "Rochester, NY" (or "Eden" "Utica" "Portland" "Pittsburgh"- I'm forgetting a few) and further investigate. The consumer doesn't have even that meager info re: Sixpoint.
Instead, one would have to search TTB COLA's and see that the Sixpoint beers list a second brewery:
Plant Registry/Basic Permit/Brewers No (Other): BR-PA-MAD-15000MAD SCIENTISTS BREWING PARTNERS LLC700 N PENNSYLVANIA AVEWILKES BARRE, PA 18705
First they'd wonder "Mad Scientists Brewing Partners- WTF?" and they could then do a Google Map search and find The Lion brewery at that very same address.
I mean, c'mon, just the fact that this is a constant reoccurring topic here on BA suggests it's wrong or at least gives "a false or misleading impression" (to use TTB's own phrasing).
I agree, there is a difference. But I guess my point is that there is a lot of marketing of impression. It was clear early on to many that Six Point was brewing/canning at The Lion and not in Brooklyn, yet it keeps coming up on BA. Likewise, it also keeps coming up on BA, and in the press, that Yuengling is craft. And Rolling Rock is a PA beer. ...etc
Genesee Brewing NAB out of Rochester brews beers for Pyramid , Blue Point and Magic Hat to name a few ... Breweries do it too make money ... What is the issue here ? The beer tastes the same as the original.
The "issue" for some is that, unlike the examples you gave, Sixpoint's labels do not mention the actual brewing/packaging city, so a consumer has no idea the beers aren't brewed and canned/kegged in Brooklyn, NY but rather come from The Lion's brewery in Wilkes-Barre, PA.
It should be noted, too, that the IBU brands, Magic Hat and Pyramid, are now owned outright by NAB so it's not even "contract brewing" as such, and they still put the actual brewery city on their labels.
I thought I read something a while back on the old BA about this subject and got reminded when Sixpoint recently started distro. in CT.
This is not good news as I can't stand "contract brewing".
I want the beer that I consume to be brewed by the actual brewery.
Six Point will be one of (or maybe the only) the beers that will be available at Pig Island this Saturday.
Pig Island is a food event held on Governor's Island NYC, so who ever is there pouring would be sure to know.
(Not that I'm saying anyone needs to go.)
I'm a fan of Sixpoint, but this is a bit misleading. Does this exist with other consumable products? I'm thinking if for some reason there was a product recall coming from Lion, the package would not indentify it. And in a time where Country Of Origin identification exists for meat and produce, it is surprising there is such a loophole.
The TTB label approvals for the Sixpoint canned beers (and all other beers brewed at more than one location from all brewers) state that "EACH CONTAINER MUST BE CODED TO INDICATE ACTUAL PLACE OF BOTTLING" for that very reason.
With Sixpoint, it's not really necessary since no cans are coming out of Brooklyn, but other multi-plant brewers' date coding includes info to ID the brewery, the bottling/canning line, shift, etc.
For example, MillerCoors' code's second line, second and third digits represent the brewery - 01 - Milwaukee, 04 - Ft. Worth, 10 - Golden, 30 - Shenandoah, etc
I've not done a side-by-side myself, but I've talked to others that claim that the Lion-brewed stuff is inferior to the Brooklyn-brewed.
I can attest 100% that I can taste a difference between their draft beers (at least a few years ago when Sixpoint was draft only) and their canned beers. So far Resin is the only sixpoint beer that really wowed me out of a can, while a lot of their drafts have done so.
re Sixpoint's canned beer vs draught:
Sixpoint representatives (including, IIRC, owner Shane Welch in the old forums and on Twitter) have in the past always insisted that any of their beers that are canned are only brewed and racked into kegs at "their PA brewery" (aka The Lion), suggesting that the Brooklyn brewery now produces exclusively their keg-only beers at this point.
Previously, those keg labels did read "Wilkes-Barre, PA" but now even the keg labels only list their "principal place of business" home headquarter brewery in Brooklyn.
(below w/dates added)
Don't care. I like the product, so I will continue to consume it.
And this thread only proves that sometimes you can have too much information. Notwithstanding the skullduggery, if you like the beer, what's the difference where it was brewed? And as far as the question about a problem and a recall, has there ever been a beer recall for any reason?
In recent years, the two most publicized ones were a Boston Beer Co. recall for possible defective bottles (in which case IIRC it was the bottle manufacturer Owens-Illinois' coding that was important) and Coors recall a defective batch of Coors Light which, as I remember it, was brewed at Miller's GA plant. Seems like there was a Mexican beer recall also for bottle defects not too long ago, as well.
So the only recall for the beer contents was the Coors Light, correct? And was it defective, and not health threatening?
I didn't say they were the "only" recalls, just two notable recent ones.
As is often noted, there are no known human pathogens that can survive the brewing process, so most beer recalls would not involved a permanent threat to health (other than things like those defective bottles). There have been a few ingredient health scares - in the early '80's carcinogenic nitrosamine was found in certain beers from a particular malting method (I think it was) and a famous case in Canada where a cobalt-based additive (a foam enhancer, IIRC) contributed to the deaths of some heavy drinkers from heart attacks. Those weren't "recalls" as such, but changes in recipes/methods.
Not sure how this thread went where it did (I had some input), but while on the topic of recall...
Sly Fox recalled a few batches of their Pils a couple years ago.
... and doesn't Sly Fox contract brew and can Brewer's Art beers? *slips back into the corner*
And some of Southampton's I believe. Nobody puts Lauren in a corner, even Lauren!
Yeah, and they label those brews accordingly, listing "Royersford, PA" as the city of origin (as did Southampton).
Again, simply using a dba and/or contract brewing - two common enough business practices in the brewing industry - is not the issue with Sixpoint's alternating proprietorship deal with The Lion for many people.
Let's look at it this way. If Sixpoint is proud of brewing in Pa. why don't they just list Pa. on their products?
Shane was on here a while back, and besides giving an explanation for not admitting to brewing at Lion that was .0001 degree away from an outright lie, he also, tellingly, said this, which I paraphrase now as the actual thread is in limbo land with all the other pre meltdown threads. Nothing wrong with out yeast, but we are changing which yeast we use in Pa.
Basically I don't think anyone really cares that people contract brew. It can certainly affect the quality of beers, but that's a case by case basis thing. I think people are annoyed at what amounts to basically lying even if it's legal. That and Sixpoint is kind of big on "being" from New York when most of their beer isn't even brewed there.
Personally, I could care less where something is brewed. I do find brewery production / capacity issues intriguing so I like to know about location because of that, just because it interests me how breweries are handling demand / expansion. So I guess I would prefer they labeled more "accurately" but I'm not offended by it.
I would agree that the Bengali Tiger I had on tap 3-4 years ago is nowhere as good as the cans. That said, they still make good beers. The ratings for all their beers are still at or near 4 on BA so they appeal to the majority. Crisp is my go to canned pilsner, Resin is excellent, Bengali is still better than a lot of stuff out there, Apollo was excellent this summer, etc. I enjoy having such good readily available 16 oz cans ... especially in the summer months.
You appear to be sufficiently satisfied with the quality of the Sixpoint beers being brewed at Lion Brewery. Not everybody is satisfied with the quality of Sixpoint beers from Lion Brewery (there have been a number of past threads discussing this topic).